As a long distance couple, my boyfriend and I don’t have many traditional opportunities to show each other appreciation. I wanted to do something special for him, but was having trouble thinking of something.
After many hours on Pinterest, I remembered a beautiful Japanese tradition of folding and gifting 1,000 paper cranes. You might know this idea from the story of Sadako Sasaki. I knew it as a way to express good wishes, good intentions, blessings and love and so I decided to make 1,000 paper cranes for Choy as a surprise.
I decided this in January (we planned Oregon in October or November). I thought it would be nice to have them waiting for him when he returned to LA from our trip. I calculated how many cranes I would need to make per day to meet my goal. I had to make 33 cranes a day for a month to have them ready before I left for Oregon mid-February.
Before I started this project, I didn’t know how to make origami cranes. Good ol’ YouTube taught me and I was off! My first attempt took me 10 minutes. I’m not kidding. I got faster though, and eventually could make a crane in 90 seconds. Some days, especially at the beginning, it was really easy to make 33 cranes. Other days, time just escaped me and I found myself having to make 100 cranes in one day. It was a little bit stressful, but pretty cool to see the cranes pile up.
The hardest part of this whole project was keeping it a secret from Choy. I wanted to tell him every day. In the end, I kept the secret and had the cranes shipped to him while we were together in Oregon. When our trip was over, they were waiting for him in Los Angeles.
One thousand cranes is the tradition. I threw in one more for good measure.
Oh, and P.S., if you want to do this too, don’t choose the tiny paper.